Beyond the mayoral race: Who’s running for City Council in KC’s upcoming election

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For eight years, Mayor Sly James has served the city of Kansas City, and for the past few months, 11 people have been vying for your attention to take over his position in June.

With primaries less than a week away, many Kansas Citians may be having trouble figuring out who to pick for their initial vote.

But beyond that, did you know there are a number of Kansas City Council seats up for grabs? Some may be looking at their ballots not knowing who any of these people are -- and maybe even leaving it blank.

Six of the 11 mayoral candidates currently serve on the city council. Four of them are finishing up their second term, which means at least six seats will change no matter who you end up voting for.

Don't forget school board elections in Kansas City, Raytown, Grandview, Hickman Mills, and Center school districts.

It's a lot, and if you know everyone you plan to vote for, you've definitely done your research.

Public affairs consultant Jason Grill said voter fatigue is real, and he believes citywide elections create more change than who you're sending to Washington D.C. or Jefferson City.

"City council, mayors, they get most of the stuff done in our country right now in terms of impacting your life," Grill said. "More than what happens at the state level, more than what happens in congress right now, so it’s kind of important."

Some city council seats may only have one candidate running unopposed, but others have up to six candidates vying for one seat. We're focusing on seats and positions where there's opposition to help you make your decision.

City Council candidates

For Councilmember at large 3rd District

Brandon Ellington

Brandon Ellington

  • Served in the Missouri House of Representatives
  • Focus on: Jobs, education, city service
  • Website

Wallace Hartsfield II

Wallace Hartsfield II

  • Pastor, professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Community Advocate
  • Focus on: Safety, prosperity, growth
  • Website

For Councilmember at large 4th District:

Katheryn Shields

Katheryn Shields

  • Currently serving in first term on KC's City Council
  • Focus on: Infrastructure & city planning
  • Website

Robert Westfall

Robert Westfall

  • Founder of BOT -- Better Online Training
  • Focus on: Taxes, affordable housing, infrastructure
  • Website

Austin Strassle

Austin Strassle

  • Works as a mental health caseworker at Truman Medical Center
  • Focus on: Affordable housing, addiction, financial strain
  • Website

For Councilmember at large 5th District:

Lee Barnes Jr

Lee Barnes Jr.

  • Currently serving in first term on KC's City Council
  • Focus on: Jobs, affordable housing, childcare
  • Website

Erik Dickinson

Erik Dickinson

Dwayne Williams

Dwayne Williams

For Councilmember at large 6th District:

Andrea Bough

Andrea Bough

  • Attorney with Lewis & Rice
  • Focus on: City progress, basic services, neighborhood issues
  • Website

Stacey Johnson-Cosby

Stacey Johnson-Cosby

For Councilmember 3rd District:

Joseph Thomas

Joseph "Joey Cuts" Thomas

  • Community activist and barber
  • Focus on: Crime, economic development, affordable housing
  • Website

Joseph Jackson

Joseph Jackson

  • Property developer with Community Property Ventures, former KCPS School Board Director
  • Focus on: Crime, city services, neighborhood revitalization
  • Website

Shaheer Akhtab

Shaheer Akhtab

  • No information available

Pat Clarke

Patt Clarke

  • Executive director of Oak Park Neighborhood Association
  • Focus on: Jobs, economic development, crime
  • Website

Rachel Riley

Rachel Riley

  • President of the East 23rd St. Neighborhood Organization
  • Focus on: Community empowerment
  • Website

Melissa Robinson

Melissa Robinson

For Councilmember 4th District:

Jared Campbell

Jared Campbell

  • Producer with Signature Personal Insurance
  • Focus on: Strengthening neighborhoods, city development
  • Website

Eric Bunch

Eric Bunch

  • Co-founder of BikeWalkKC
  • Focus on: Equality, education, housing & neighborhoods
  • Website

Geoff Jolley

Geoff Jolley

  • President of Jolley Strategies
  • Focus on: City development
  • Website

For Councilmember 5th District:

Bryan Dial

Bryan Dial

  • Youth pastor at Paseo Baptist Church
  • Focus on: Crime, infrastructure, fiscal responsibility
  • Website

Ryana Parks-Shaw

Ryana Parks-Shaw

Stephan Gordon

Stephan Gordon

  • Focus on: Crime, infrastructure, jobs
  • No website information

Mitch Sudduth

Mitch Sudduth

  • Community activist
  • Focus on: Economic development, education, crime
  • Website

Edward Bell

Edward Bell II

  • Member of the Public Improvements Advisory Committee
  • Focus on: Safety, neighborhood development, education
  • Website

To get a copy of a sample ballot and more information on where to vote, you can visit the Jackson County Elections Board.

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